The latest quarterly growth figures show an encouraging 0.8%, the strongest third quarter figures in a decade.
With the incessant reminders of the state of the economy and with budget cuts coming out of our ears, who would have thought that the latest estimates suggest that the UK economy is now 2.8% bigger now than it was a year ago, and imply that the UK has been growing, on average, at an annualised rate of roughly 3.2% since the start of 2010.
The strongest sectors have been construction, hotels and restaurants, distribution, and business and financial services. Government and other public services show a smaller rate of growth.
The government would say it shows that fears of a stifled recovery are greatly exaggerated. The opposition would say it shows that spending cuts have yet to bite. Who is right?
Whether you are an optimist or a pessimist, hopefully the figures don’t lie and the coalition can make a difference, and put the ‘Great’ back into Great Britain once again.
Social networking has become part of our everyday lives and is used across the world for personal and business use, to catch up with friends, arrange meetings, share information and play the odd game. This comes as the social network giant Facebook announces the registration of its 500 millionth member, of which 26 million are from the UK.
With the ability to interact with people all over the world Facebook has become the ‘social Google’. If you want to find out information, need advice or simply want to find out what people think about a particular subject we now go to the most trusted place for the answer – our friends and family on Facebook.
Alongside Facebook is Twitter, the micro-blogging site where users can ‘tweet’ about what they are doing right now. This is an instant messaging service that is used to get information out and talk to a community that cares about the same things as you.
With the busy lives we all live today social networking sites are great for talking to friends and keeping up to date with what they’re doing, and you don’t even have to be sitting at a pc to use it. Many people access the sites through mobile phones so they can interact with their friends on the go.
The success of Facebook has been down to word of mouth. It started off small with a circle of friends and has escalated and grown to 500m people – it has become the new way of communicating.
Facebook is almost guaranteed to reach one billion users, so there’ll be no excuse about not keeping in contact with friends and family in future, just get a Facebook account and join the latest addiction.
Today we see the end of nearly a 200 year old establishment known and loved by many. Cadbury, a well established family business waves goodbye to Britain and heads to the US.
With so many British brands leaving the country it makes you ask “what is left in Britain, and where has the ‘Great’ in Great Britain gone?”
Corus (British Steel), ICI, Land Rover, Jaguar, Lotus, Manchester United Football Club and Abbey National are just a handful of companies that were once an important part of the UK economy that we can’t lay claim to anymore. What was once a world leader, Britain appears to be turning into ‘takeover Britain’, still, we can all look forward to Dairylea filled Creme Eggs this Easter.
Press releases are a great way to get publicity without spending huge amounts of money. They are a powerful tool that helps get your business noticed, but with editors receiving hundreds of press releases each day you need to make sure yours stands out. Here are my top tips on writing a press release that editors will want to read and publicise.
- Know your subject
Make sure you know the subject you are writing about. If you don’t then do some research. If you are writing a press release that your product “can make people’s life easier” or you can “guarantee to triple sales in a week” then you need to be able to convince the editor too.
- Is your news “newsworthy”?
Not all news is newsworthy. A press release is to inform about your news item, not to make a sale. If your press release sounds like an advert, re-write it. A press release should answer the questions who?, what?, when?, where? and why?
- Effective headline
Use a headline that has maximum impact and effectiveness. The headline is what the editor will see first about your press release so it needs to be catchy and wanting them to read more.
- Third person
A press release should be written in the third person, as if you were a journalist writing it.
A press release should have a beginning, middle and an end. Following the headline should be a newsworthy summary giving more information about the news item. It is these first few words that count towards the success of getting the press release published or not. The middle will provide information backing up the summary. The end will be a ‘call to action’ such as “for more information call…” and a round-up of the information in the press release.
- Notes to editors
In the notes to editors include a boilerplate with some general information on the company issuing the release.
Always proofread your press release.
- Press information
Include media contact information, including name, phone number and email address.
Quotes can hold a great deal of weight to a press release, but offer quotes that are relevant to the news item.
- Media distribution
Compile a media distribution list that is relevant to the press release being written. Don’t send a press release to every media contact you have “just in case”, this can be harmful to your relationship with them if they are constantly receiving news items that do not interest them. A well constructed media list will have a bigger impact.
It’s been 40 years since Neil Armstrong said those famous words “One small step for man, One giant leap for mankind…”
From Cape Canaveral (then Cape Kennedy) in Florida over half a million people watched as three astronauts (Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins) were boosted towards the first lunar landing.
Coming eight years after President Kennedy’s speech to Congress in 1961, in which he unveiled the Apollo programme “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth”. Half a billion people watched on television as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin moved about on the lunar surface with its gravity one-sixth that of Earth’s.
Since 20 July 1969 only five more missions took man to the moon, not forgetting Apollo 13, which is famous for not getting there and the heroic efforts needed to save the crew. The last mission was Apollo 17 on December 11, 1972 by Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt.
This begs the question, why haven’t we been back to the moon since? Landing on the moon was a magnificent achievement for mankind and from which we have made many discoveries.
The ‘space race’ continues, but what will we achieve in the next 40 years?